Being good at math can make people want to quit smoking: Study


By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 24, 2020 11:20:23 pm


smoking, study on smoking, smoking and math, smokers, smokers who are good in mathematics,quitting smoking, health, smoking risks, indian express, indian express news Participants who had scored higher in the numeracy, had better memory of the risks involved in smoking, including the statistics. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Could math have anything to do with you leading a healthier life? A study draws a direct connection between being good at math and smoking. It is believed that smokers who are good at it, are more likely to kick the butt, than those who are not.

It was found in the study, which was published online in the Health Psychology journal, that smokers who scored higher on a math ability test were more likely than others to say they intended to give up on the habit of smoking. The reason that was cited was that these people have better memory and are good with numbers. So they can better understand the numbers relating to the risk of smoking, thereby showing an earnest intention to quit.

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Brittany Shoots-Reinhard of the Ohio State University, who is the lead author of the study, said that people who have better math skills remembered the scary numbers about smoking risks that were given to them during the course of the study, and that made the difference.

Reinhard further said that the study results explain why many studies always find that people who are educated are more likely to successfully quit smoking. The research saw the participation of 696 adults in the US. When the session began, the smokers were given a short test measuring numeracy. They were shown eight different cigarette warning labels four times. The labels had a cautionary text warning smokers, telling them of the information pertaining to risk possibility. They were asked to rate their emotional reactions, credibility, and personal relevance to each of the labels.

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Six weeks later, the participants were asked to answer a few questions to understand how much they remembered the risk figures. They were also asked to rate how likely they were to quit smoking in the next 30 days, or the next one year.

It was naturally found that participants who had scored higher in the numeracy, had better memory of the risks involved in smoking, including the statistics. Which is why, they expressed higher intentions to quit.

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